Sunday, July 21, 2013

CHRIST AND CULTURE: "The Bible and Homosexuality"

Here are the notes from today's message at New Life Community Church.  The title of the message is "The Bible and Homosexuality" and is  part of a larger on-going series entitled CHRIST AND CULTURE.  If you would like to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

Christ and Culture, Part 1                                                                 Sunday, July 21, 2013
 “The Bible and Homosexuality, Part 1”

11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.  13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  John 17:11-18 (NIV)
Vs. 11.  In the world
Vs. 14.  Not of the world
We usually stop there.  But, there is a third element:
Vs. 18.  Sent into the world.

Illustration:  If our culture were like a huge river, where are we in respect to the river?
a.       Swam to the shore and got out.
b.      Over near the edge hanging on trying not to be swept away.
c.       Out in the middle swimming upstream.

H. Richard Niebuhr:  Christ and Culture.  5 ways Christians respond to culture.

Three ways we engage our world:
1.     REJECT the culture                   (Christ AGAINST Culture)
2.     RECEIVE the culture       (Christ OF Culture)
3.     REDEEM the culture        (Christ TRANSFORMING Culture)
I want to deal with 3 questions in our time today and next week.  Those 3 questions are:
1.      What does the Bible say about homosexuality and same-sex marriage?
2.      What are the objections being thrown at us by our culture?  How do we answer these?
3.      Where do we go from here?  What should be the appropriate Christian stance concerning homosexuality, same-sex attraction, and gay identity?
Three big events in the past two months.
1.      The Boy Scouts
May 23.  Irving, Texas.

2.      Exodus International
June 19.  Irvine, California

3.      The Supreme Court
June 26. 
Massive Transformation of our Society and Culture
Three Steps in the Gay Rights Agenda:
1.      ACCEPTANCE of homosexuality
2.      APPROVAL of homosexuality
3.      PROMOTION of homosexuality

May 11, 2013.  California SB 1437.
The Bias Free Curriculum Act would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in textbooks, classroom materials and school-sponsored activities.

SB 1437 would alter K-12 public education textbooks, instructional materials, and school-sponsored activities to positively reference transsexuality, transvestitism, bisexuality, and homosexuality, including homosexual "marriage." 
President Obama’s views on same-sex marriage have “evolved”.  But the Word of God does not change.
There are 11 passages that deal directly with homosexuality.  There are numerous other passages that deal with gender identity, marriage, and sexual morality.

The passages of Scripture that directly address homosexuality:
1.      Genesis 19:1-11
2.      Leviticus 18:22
3.      Leviticus 20:13
4.      Judges 19:16-24
5.      I Kings 14:24
6.      I Kings 15:12
7.      II Kings 23:7
8.      Romans 1:18-32
9.      I Corinthians 6:9-11
10.  I Timothy 1:8-11
11.  Jude 7
Genesis 1:26-28
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)

Three Creation Truths
1.     GENDER identity is important to God.
2.     The PATTERN for marriage is ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN for a LIFETIME.
3.     Marriage is tied to REPRODUCTION.

Genesis 19 and then Judges 19.  Sodom and Gomorrah.  The sins of Gibeah

Leviticus 18:22 (Lev. 20:13)
“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.  Leviticus 18:22 (NLT)

Romans 1
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.  26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.  Romans 1:24-26 (NIV)

I Corinthians 6

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  I Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV)

Objections, Myths, and Questions:
1.      But God made me this way?  Is it a choice or is it genetic?  The Gay Gene.
2.      Why don’t we just live and let live?
3.      Why are we making such a big deal about one particular sin?
4.      But Jesus never addressed homosexuality.
5.      Is it possible to change sexual orientation?
6.      Are homosexuals irredeemable?  Can homosexuals go to heaven?
7.      If it doesn’t hurt anyone, why is it wrong?
8.      Why shouldn’t two people who want to love one another for a lifetime be allowed to do so?
9.      Can the Bible even be trusted in what it says about homosexual activity?

Where do we go from here?
1.      Build strong, biblical families.  FBI policy concerning counterfeits
2.      Correct view of all sin.  No sin is worse than any other sin.
3.      Consistent in our moral positions. 
4.      Be patiently redemptive. If you are struggling against sin, we will help you.
5.      Use “tough love” when people stop trying.  If you stop struggling against sin and begin accommodating it, we must speak.
6.      Preserve religious freedom without fostering hatred.  Religious freedom cannot be classified as a “hate crime”
7.      Don’t be surprised when people far from God act like people far from God.  The first question should be relational and secondarily moral.
8.      Be evangelistic.  Jesus invites first and only condemns as the last resort.
9.      Show the love of God while believing the Bible.  We must dispel the idea of hatred while also holding up the validity of truth.

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV)

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.  14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.  Philippians 2:12-16 (NIV)

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